By mid-2010, Kola’s job in the fertilizer business had Barbados Email List provided enormous experience and contacts. In three years, he’d set up a nationwide network for distributing fertilizer and seeds, and a huge ag extension service to educate farmers about how to use them. With all that under his belt, he quit his job, while Lola supported them financially working for Google in Africa. They set up a consulting partnership to explore opportunities for their agriculture Barbados Email List enture. And in one of their first assignments, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Buy Business Email Marketing Lisasked them to develop a commercial strategy for a new fungicide product it was promoting. Lola Masha 13:07 The Gates project gave us the freedom to explore that space even more, to think about commercial models that can scale and that can work. Jonathan Levine 13:17 t Barbados Email List As part of the project, Kola did field research in northern Nigeria, interviewing.

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Lola Masha 13:25 That journey led to saying, okay you know Barbados Email List what, there’s actually a lot more that could be done in supporting smallholder farmers. Jonathan Levine 13:36 Then, inspired by his grandfather, Kola pursued a fellowship in early 2012 to study farm cooperatives around the United States. He wanted to find out what made them successful. He came back with a few consistent themes. Kola Masha 13:50 The first was grassroot-level leadership—fellow Barbados Email List farmers leading fellow farmers. The second was access to professional services—to deliver services efficiently and effectively. And third, was access to investments to scale—and benefit from additional economies of scale. Jonathan Levine 14:12 In a nutshell, those lessons became Barbados Email List the blueprint for Babban Gona.

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In the Hausa language, it means Barbados Email List Great Farm. JonathanLevine 14:22 [Farmer chant] You can hear farmers chanting all around northern Nigeria these days: “Babban Gona—better your life.” Because that is what the model is designed to do. It all starts with what the company calls Trust Groups, small teams of three to five smallholders. They mostly grow maize or corn. Each group operates like a mini-grassroots cooperative, supporting Beach other throughout Barbados Email List the season, helping till each other’s land, cross-guaranteeing each other’s loans. Kola says he borrowed the concept from the early days of the micro-finance industry when mutual support and peer pressure ensured that small groups of women borrowers succeeded in their cottage businesses. Kola Masha 15:07 Trust is at the core of everything that we do. If one of the members of Barbados Email List your group is unable to fulfill their loan obligation, you commit to step in and support them.

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